Sunday, September 25, 2011

National Heritage Weekends

September 17-18 – National Heritage weekend

During the third weekend of September all French cities celebrate the “Journées du Patrimoine” when for 2 days many historic buildings that are normally closed to the public are opened for guided tours. In Paris this may include government buildings (Elysée Palace, including the Office of the President, the Palais du Luxembourg where the Senate resides, the General Assembly, Town Hall), some embassies or ambassadorial residences, theatres, libraries, or buildings of particular architectural importance both old and new. Initiated by the French Ministry of Culture in 1983, these Heritage Days have become very popular, as witnessed by the long lines that inevitably form at the designated sites, and have since been adopted in many other European countries. 

Palais du Luxembourg 

Inside Palais du Luxembourg
The Palais du Luxembourg was built by Marie de Médicis, mother of king Louis XIII, in the style of the Palazzo Pitti of her native Florence. As a direct result of the French Revolution these "private" royal properties reverted back to the State and are today accessible to the people in whose name they are used.

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